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A Principle-Approach® Pre-K–12 Christian School in Lancaster County, PA

Honors High School

Dayspring’s Honors High School program provides a distinctive educational experience for high-achieving and academically-gifted students. We offer an enhanced college-prep curriculum to which students apply themselves with all diligence toward excellence in Christian character and scholarly pursuits.

Fast Facts About Honors High School

✓ Who & When: 10th-12th Grades 5 Days/Week, End of August – Beginning of June

✓ College Prep Stats: During the 2018-2019 school year, 31% of sophomores, 48% of juniors, and 56% of Dayspring seniors took college-level courses

✓ Location: Conveniently located just 1 minute from the Mountville exit of Route 30 in Lancaster County, PA


What is Honors High School?

Dayspring Christian Academy’s Honors High School can also be called a “college prep high school“. It’s an important element in our mission to prepare students to be citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship. Classes in the Honors High School program are specially designed to meet the needs of academically-gifted and high-performing students.

How is it Different from Traditional High School?

Honors High School Courses differ from traditional courses in that they foster a greater degree of independent scholarship grounded in inquiry (a crucial skill associated with scientific discovery), creative design, and lifelong learning.

Traditional High School: It’s common and appropriate for teachers to present a concept or skill, have students learn and practice said concept or skill, then show students how to apply what they’ve learned.

Honors High School: Teachers become more like coaches who “guide from the side.” Instead of providing students with questions and assigning the same analysis task to all, teachers in the Honors High School encourage students to ask the questions and to design and carry out their own plans for analytical, evaluative, and creative projects.

To get students ready for college (and life after), the Honors High School helps students hone creativity and inquiry-based learning skills: those associated with artistry, scientific discovery, invention, and lifelong learning.


Several years ago, 10th grade students in the Honors British Literature class were asked to generate questions and devise means of expressing mastery of concepts and content in response to their readings for the Anglo-Saxon Unit.

The result?

  • One student wanted to know whether topography, climate, and weather influence the development of a language. This particular student conducted scholarly research and presented her findings to the class.
  • Another student loved the sound palate of Old English, so she decided to memorize and present, in Anglo-Saxon, Caedmon’s “Hymn;” the oldest existing work of literature in our language; additionally, she conducted research and taught her classmates about the grammar and vocabulary of Old English.

When students are encouraged to discern their own applications for what they have learned, their motivation, scholarship, and joy for academics increases exponentially!

Additional Distinctives of Honors High School

  • A culture of respect and learning in the classroom
  • A spirit of joy in learning and discovery
  • High academic standards and expectations
  • Best practices utilized in teaching-learning methodology
  • Off-site field studies and learning opportunities (during the school year as well as summer)
  • High-level intellectual discourse
  • A student portfolio verifying a fully developed application of the Notebook Method
  • Career emphasis in the context of seeking God’s calling
  • Extra work beyond class time
  • Student-teacher ratio is 12:1 (traditional high school student teacher ratio is 20:1)


Goals of Honors High School

To provide an academically-focused high school education that:

  1. Recognizes students’ individuality in the context of their spiritual calling.
  2. Requires students to give internal consent to Christian character growth as the fountain from which excellence proceeds.
  3. Challenges students to excel still more in their pursuit of academic excellence in stewardship of their God-given abilities.
  4. Prepares students for entrance into the higher education opportunities for which they are best suited.
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College Preparation at Dayspring

Dayspring’s average SAT scores are typically about 100 points higher than the national average. This is a reflection of our students’ commitment to working as unto the Lord in school and the preparation that we offer as students prepare for college. Dayspring high school students have the opportunity to earn up to 30 college credits before graduation through our dual enrollment program with Cairn University and our stellar AP courses. Many of our students arrive at college already having earned a full semester of credits!

  • Dual Credit Program: Students are given the opportunity to build their college transcript while completing High School through our dual credit program with Cairn University. Earning college credits before graduation can save time and money after high school.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) classes include: Psychology, US History, English Composition, English Literature, Physics, Statistics, and Calculus.
  • Apprenticeship career program for Juniors.
  • Senior thesis is written and defended. Senior thesis is a graduation requirement.

You can find more information regarding college preparation at Dayspring using these links:

College Acceptance Facts

GPA & Class Rank Computation

SAT Scores: Top & Averages

Curriculum for Honors High School

Our rigorous curriculum encompasses core courses from Algebra through Calculus and Statistics, from Earth Science through Physics, from Biology to Anatomy & Physiology. Students are equipped with truth as they explore the rudiments of American history and our form of republicanism.

  • Languages: Includes Spanish, American Sign Language, and Greek
  • Literature: Includes British and American classics from Beowulf to Ben Hur, with an
    annual study in Shakespeare.
  • Science: Includes Biology, Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and Physics. STEM is the science focus for grades 10 and 12.
  • Logic: Our students study the ancient disciplines of logic (“the art of thinking”) and rhetoric (“the art of speaking”) as defined in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary.
  • Bible: Students take Exegesis to better understand and interpret the original languages of the Bible.
  • Art: Students may participate in art classes, including Introduction to Art and Art Studio.
  • Music: Options include high school choirs, music theory, as well as Honors Choir (auditions required). Students may join instrumental ensembles and take music electives.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) classes include:
    • AP Psychology
    • AP US History
    • AP English Composition
    • AP English Literature
    • AP Physics
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Calculus

To learn more, view our full Course Catalog!

Activities & Events

Field Trips: Onsite, Interactive In-Depth Learning

In-depth field studies in high school include the study of the rudiments of American history in studies to Boston; Plymouth, MA; New York City; and Washington, D.C. The Dayspring high school student’s Senior year is culminated with a 10-day study in Israel. We call this trip “the final Dayspring classroom.” Learn why in this blog.

Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities

Athletics include boys soccer, girls lacrosse, golf, boys and girls basketball, girls volleyball, and track and field. High School students may also participate in any sport at McCaskey High School through our cooperative sponsorship.

Electives and clubs include worship team, pinewood derby, music-based clubs such as strings and ukulele, history, science clubs, games, cooking, newspaper, yearbook, student government, and so much more!

Learn more about student life at Dayspring!

Why Dayspring?

There’s several college prep schools in Lancaster County… why should parents choose Dayspring? The answer is simple: our method of education makes all the difference. The Principle Approach teaches students to think and reason from God’s Word and apply biblical principles to every area of their lives. With this worldview, students learn to and are able to think logically. Reasoning from God’s Word brings a biblical perspective to their studies, situations, decisions, and key areas of life. A student using the Principle Approach can view the world through the lens of the Bible, bringing transformation in character, behavior, and scholarship extending into every area of life.

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Honors High School Details

  • Average Class Size: 10
  • Before/After School: Programs are available
  • School Security/Safety protocols, etc.  Appropriate security measures are in place to ensure that our families feel confident that their precious children are safe, loved and well-cared for.
  • Tuition: $12,499  Honors High School students must apply for acceptance into the program.
  • Financial Aid Info: Tuition Assistance is available. Call John Riddell at 717-285-2000 for details.

How to Apply

  • Schedule a private tour!
    • Private tours for you and your child are available. We’ll work with you to find a date/time that’s convenient. Contact us to schedule a tour »
    • The next open house is scheduled for March 2022. Check back for dates and details!
  • Currently enrolling for school year: 2021-2022 (plan ahead – we begin accepting applications in January for the upcoming school year!)
  • How to Apply:
    • Step 1: Fill out our online application
    • Step 2: Attend an interview and intake testing.
    • Step 3: Submit the required forms and documentation.
  • Form to Submit:
    • Parents must also provide a copy of a recent physical examination and an immunization record or letter of objection. You can find all of the forms necessary for enrollment in our Form Library.
  • Registration fee: All fees are included in the cost of tuition.

Meet Our Honors High School Teachers

Brian Fleetman is an upper school art teacher

Mr. Brian Fleetman

Mrs. Erin Frick

Mrs. Kim Gainer

Mr. David Landon






Dan Stone is the Upper School Principal at Dayspring Christian Academy.

Mr. Dan Stone

Ed Sykes is an upper school teacher

Mr. Ed Sykes

Mr. Matthew Valverde


College Prep High School Lancaster Pennsylvania

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